This Day in History, 2006 (4)

Thurs, 2 June 2006
On the top floor of S-Meg Tower, I’m still trying to work out how the travel companies can make a profit from these package deals.  The money doesn’t seem to add up.  The retail price for our tour, according to Fat Karen, was HK$500 per person, plus a HK$150 tip for the guide and driver.  Assuming that these two Mainlanders live off these gratuities and commissions, the company gets HK$5,000 from a typical group of five couples on a three-day, two-night trip.  From this, it has to pay for…

  • 10 room-nights at a 4-star hotel, with 20 breakfasts
  • 10 fancy hotel dinners
  • 30 basic lunches
  • Around 50 admissions to temples, etc
  • Yo-Yo’s salary
  • Fuel for minibus, around 1,000km
  • Highway and bridge tolls (of which there are many)

Even allowing for bulk-buying, rebates and the fact that the Mainland is dirt cheap, they must be operating on razor-thin margins.  From the customer’s point of view, it is undeniably a bargain.  If you spent your entire life on these tours, it would cost less than HK$8,000 a month – cheaper than living in Hong Kong at a fixed abode.  My retirement problems are solved.

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